The Wið Færstice Charm

The “Wið Færstice” is intended to be accompanied by boiling feverfew, red nettle grown in grain, and plantains, then boiling it all in a bowl of butter. A knife is dipped into the potion and then rubbed against the source of pain. Despite the popular use of the aforementioned herbs in forms of remedial healing, it is important to note that the usage of these plants may have been more symbolic than practical. The spiritual associations with the charm itself is about excising the supernatural source of the affliction, as opposed to a more earthly cause.

Wið færstice feferfuige and seo reade netele, ðe þurh ærn inwyxð, and wegbrade; wyll in buteran.

Hlude wæran hy, la, hlude, ða hy ofer þone hlæw ridan,
wæran anmode, ða hy ofer land ridan.
Scyld ðu ðe nu, þu ðysne nið genesan mote.
Ut, lytel spere, gif her inne sie!
Stod under linde, under leohtum scylde,
þær ða mihtigan wif hyra mægen beræddonand hy gyllende garas sændan;
ic him oðerne eft wille sændan,fleogende flane forane togeanes.
Ut, lytel spere, gif hit her inne sy!
Sæt smið, sloh seax,
lytel iserna, wund swiðe.
Ut, lytel spere, gif her inne sy!
Syx smiðas sætan, wælspera worhtan.
Ut, spere, næs in, spere!
Gif her inne sy isernes dæl,
hægtessan geweorc, hit sceal gemyltan.
Gif ðu wære on fell scoten oððe wære on flæsc scotenoððe wære on blod scoten, oððe wære on ban scoten,
oððe wære on lið scoten, næfre ne sy ðin lif atæsed;
gif hit wære esa gescot oððe hit wære ylfa gescotoððe hit wære hægtessan gescot, nu ic wille ðin helpan.
Þis ðe to bote esa gescotes, ðis ðe to bote ylfa gescotes,
ðis ðe to bote hægtessan gescotes; ic ðin wille helpan.
Fleoh þær on fyrgenheafde.
Hal westu, helpe ðin drihten!
Nim þonne þæt seax, ado on wætan

*******

Against sudden stitch: feverfew and the red nettle which grows in through the barn, and waybread; boil in butter.

“Loud were they, lo! Loud, when they rode over the barrow;
they were of one mind as they rode over the land.
Shield yourself now, so you may escape this attack.
Out, little spear, if it be in here.
[I] stood under linden, under a light shield,
where the mighty women declared their might,
and yelling they sent spears.
Back to them I wish to send another,
a flying dart in opposition.
Out, little spear, if it be in here.
A smith sat, hammered a knife;
A small weapon, a serious wound.
Out, little spear, if it be in here.
Six smiths sat, wrought slaughter-spears.
Out, spear, be not in, spear.
If there be in here a piece of iron,
the work of witches, it must melt away.
If you were shot in the skin or you were shot in the flesh,
or were shot in the blood [or were shot in the bone],
or were shot in the limb, may your life never be threatened.
If it were the gods’ shot, or it were the elves’ shot, or it were the witches’ shot
I will now help you.
This as a cure for you for the gods’ shot; this as a cure for you for the elves’ shot,
this as a cure for you for the witches’ shot; I wish to help you now.
There it flew to the mountain [wood, no rest] did have.
Whole be you [now], may the Lord help you”
Then take [out] the knife, put it into the liquid.

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